Charlotte (2-3, 0-2) at Old Dominion (2-3, 0-1)
3:30 p.m., Foreman Field at Ballard Stadium, Norfolk
TV: WCCB (Charlotte cable channel 11, digital channel 1212)
Radio: WFNZ, 610. Pregame show at 2:30 p.m.
SCOUTING OLD DOMINION
The Monarchs were the cover child for early success with a new football program. They finished 9-2 in their first season, 2009, establishing a mark for best winning record for a first-year team in college football’s modern history. They reached the FCS playoffs in 2011 and 2012 before moving to FBS in 2013 … Ray Lawry leads Conference USA in rushing, with an average of 127 yards a game … The Monarchs don’t fare as well passing the ball, as they are 13th (last) in Conference USA. The 49ers rank 12th … Head coach Bobby Wilder says his team’s big problems are third-down conversion (48 percent) and turnovers (eight in their last two games) … While Old Dominion does well running the ball, the Monarchs rank 12th in the conference in defending the rush.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Old Dominion running back Ray Lawry against Charlotte nose tackle Larry Ogunjobi and the rest of the 49er defensive line. When the Monarchs succeed, it’s usually because Lawry has a big game. He has 200-yard-plus rushing performances twice this season – in Old Dominion’s two victories. “Their offense starts with Ray Lawry, as he is a tough back to stop,” 49ers coach Brad Lambert says.
▪ Saturday is homecoming for Old Dominion.
▪ Foreman Field, where the Monarchs play home games, was the university’s field hockey and lacrosse stadium before being renovated to house football. It seats about 20,000.
▪ Both teams won their first two games, lost the next three, and are coming off byes.
3 Number of senior starters on Old Dominion’s offense. School officials say the Monarchs are tied with Kentucky for fourth-fewest in FBS. They say Nevada, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest each have two.
4 Number of times the 49ers have outgained an opponent in total offense this season. Charlotte lost two of those games, to Florida Atlantic and Temple.
4 Old Dominion’s ranking among FBS teams in fewest penalties. The Monarchs ranked third last season.
This is the schools’ first meeting in football, but Old Dominion and Charlotte had been scheduled to play in 2013 and 2014, the 49ers’ first two seasons. Old Dominion pulled out of the 2014 game in Charlotte in July 2013. A week later, the 49ers cancelled their November 2013 visit to Old Dominion. Some Norfolk-area media criticized the 49ers for backing out, but officials at the two schools have had nothing but nice things to say about one another leading up to this game.